Sunday, May 10, 2009

Performers - damn them all

Ok.  Look I know that sounds harsh.  The reality is that I am surrounded by people who are performers.  Somehow from an early age I ended up hanging out with boys in bands.  Yep, my first boyfriend played guitar.  I was 15.  I've been going to pubs to see bands since I was 16.  I've actually spent the majority of my life stuck to the carpet of pubs around Melbourne.  But as I've gotten older, it seems that I have more people in my life who perform.  Stand up comedy, performance art, bands playing anything from the big Day Out to a suburban open mic night.  They ALL amaze me.  And in reality, make me as jealous as hell.  

You see, I don't have the confidence that my friends have.  And I want to kick myself because of it.  I'm going to let you in on a secret.....as I feel I can say this out here in cyberspace.  I wish I had the guts to sing.  Some of my happiest moments are when I'm in my car alone, stereo at ear bleeding volume, and I'm belting out my favourite song of the moment.  I am also known to sing in the shower (good reverb!).  Of course when I lived by myself, I'd actually happily sing at the drop of a hat.  Music is something that is coursing through my veins.  It is associated with so much of my life.  Every moment seems to have an appropriate soundtrack.

I have friends who used to play in a band for their friends birthdays.  Lot's of people would pick a song to sing, or get up and play an instrument.  There I was, loving every minute, but also feeling the pain of shyness keeping me as an admirer rather than a contributer.    But you know, I am always compiling the list of songs that I would love to sing....should I ever grow a pair and be able to have a go like everyone else.

So - for anyone who might be interested, here's my list (in no particular order):

Hang my Head - Lisa Miller  
My god - this song saw me through the break up with my first boyfriend and it was on high rotation in the flat I rented when I moved out from living with him.  'You're walking through that door, and I don't know if I really care'.  So good for the soul.

Do you love me now? - The Breeders (check out the version with J Mascis if you can)
Heartbreaking and gorgeous.  And many years ago I was able to play it on guitar....completely forgotten now though.

Sheela Na Gig - PJ Harvey
I first heard this song done by Rail (remember them) as they seemed to always be playing with other bands we'd come to watch.  Loved a guy singing it - but c'mon EVERY woman alive  should sing the words 'gonna take my hips to a man who cares'.

You're no Rock N Roll fun - Sleater Kinney
Love, love, LOVE this band.  In all honesty I have the biggest crush on Corin Tucker *sigh*  It could be any song of theirs really - I think maybe they are my all time favourite band.  I bought a dan electro guitar because Corin plays one (she does in this clip!)

Handsome & Gretel - Babes in Toyland
Oh when I'm in a bad mood - the Fontanelle album gets an airing in the car.  Such a great album - and as a fan of swearing, no one quite does it like Kat Bjelland.  Again - wouldn't you love to yell 'you fucking cunt hole bitch' at the top of your lungs?  Primal screaming at its most fun.

Love the energy.  This song will always hold a special place for me, as I actually figured out how to play it on guitar all by myself!  Ok - 4 power chords isn't impressing anyone, I know...  Don't think I can scream like the gorgeous Pele, but I'd like to die trying.  Of course - could also happily be You got it all..wrong too.

Ulysses - Franz Ferdinand
Again - this one is a joy at top volume in the car.  The build up to 'you're never going home' gives me goosebumps.

Happy - The Rolling Stones
Yep - a Keef song.  You know - maybe it's just cos it does what it says on the box - but this song DOES make me happy.  And it rocks.

Any song by The Beatles
Couldn't narrow it down, as it's a little like choosing between children.  Too hard basket.  I heard someone say once that they thought the Beatles music was in the amniotic fluid in the womb, as every seems to know every word to every song.  I love that, as I feel their music is part of me.  A song and style for every mood.  Personally - I always loved the 'quiet one'.  

Teddy Picker - Arctic Monkeys
Alex Turner is God.  A genius.  I never get sick of their songs.  He tells the stories of the every day and the slightly grimier side of english life.  It could have been Mardy Bum, Scummy Man and half a dozen other songs, but again the lyrics 'don't be surprised when you get bent over' and 'who'd want to be men of the people, when there's people like YOU' are too much joy.

This Charming Man - The Smiths
Just.....because.

You know I'll post this and then think of more songs.  Keep an eye out for updates.  As you can tell, music is so much a part of me.  But in some ways when I enjoy it the most, I'm on my own.  I feel a bit strange that I'm about to post this.  Like somehow I've been discovered as a 13 year old singing into a hair brush in my bedroom.  But, through pain is growth....my embarrassment begins NOW


Roles

How many people do you know feel like they are stuck playing a 'role' in their life?  At work, in the family, in a relationship?  It seems sometimes that we are defined by how we were rather than how we are.  Strangely, sometimes people aren't given the space to evolve.  I hear a lot of people saying that within their family they are destined to be referred to in a particular way.  Maybe it was how they were growing up - but can you outgrow the role you played as a kid?  Are you the success, the screw up, the nice one or the drama queen?  Most people can be all of these things, even all at once!  I just believe that as humans we are programmed to evolve.  To change.  

Look, I know most of us aren't evolving that much.  In fact the majority of us are sitting around with our opposable thumbs stuck up our arses contributing nothing more to the planet or humanity than an enormous carbon footprint for future generations to deal with.  But perhaps we should give people a chance.

I was thinking on the way to work the other day about friendship.  Yes - the topic de jour of my blog.  I was thinking how with true friends you should be there through all the ups and downs.  For better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness or health, to love and cherish until you part.   I wonder why we say these words to one person.  Shouldn't we promise this to everyone we care about?  It seems only fair.  Most people I care about are worth it.  Believe me!  I just hope they feel the same about me......should I ever evolve.